OMNI Magazine

OMNI Magazine – From

If you are a science fiction fan, I think I don’t have to say anything other than the word OMNI. The magazine has carried many many SciFi shorts from a whole variety of authors like, George R. R. Martin, William Gibson etc., ever since 1978. Many a time, the magazine also carried real scientific articles and has always been one of the greatest magazines for a long long time until its last Internet version in 1998. If you think you might have missed out on 20 years of goldmine, fear not. The entire OMNI magazine dating from 1978 till 1998 is out on I know this is old news, but, if some of you weren’t aware of it, head to archive for the downloads.

Enjoy reading!

Prometheus Analysis Part IV – LV 223 & LV 426

I would now like to turn my attention to one of the most important aspects of the movie, the significance of the moon, LV 223 and its relationship with LV 426 from Alien. Shaw and Holloway interpret the star map on their archaeological finds as an invitation from the engineers. Based on galactic screening, they seem to have identified a system that corresponds exactly to the configuration in the ancient pictographs. Holloway explains that the system has a sun and a planet orbiting it. The object that the engineer seems to be pointing towards in the map happens to be one of the moons of the planet, called LV 223.

Let us first observe one of the cave paintings. This one is from the Isle of Scotland, dating back to almost 35,000 years ago.

Cave Painting from Scotland – From

As we can see, six objects form a system and the engineer is specifically pointing towards one of them. Now, based on the galactic map that we see in the briefing on Prometheus, the things that are clear are the presence of a sun, a ringed-giant planet, and a couple of moons. So, that explains four objects. What of the other two? I think one of them could be another natural satellite of the planet and perhaps, the other is a planetoid!

Alien Connection: LV 426

LV 223 provides us with the first clue in unlocking the connection between Prometheus and Alien. For instance, the main planet, of which LV 223 is one of the moons, is suspiciously similar to the planet encountered in Alien – a solitary ringed, Jovian type planet with a multiple minor objects orbiting it. Please remember once again, my attempt here is to link Alien with Prometheus. I am deliberately avoiding any references to Aliens and other films. Most importantly, there will be no connections to any of the novelizations and comic book adaptations. So, don’t expect names like, Acheron or Calpamos.

Planetoid or Moon?

When Holloway describes the star map on board, he mentions that there is just one planet. Similarly, there is absolutely no mention about planets in Alien as well. In fact, in Alien, Lambert identifies the source of the signal being LV 426, a planetoid that is 1200 km in diameter. Over the years, people have referred to LV 426 as a natural satellite of the ringed planet it orbits. I am not so sure (I will come back to this theme a bit later). Planetoids are objects that orbit around their sun directly (Hence, they are not moons!). The term Minor planets has been used sometimes as well. The term planetoid is generally used for larger objects. But the most important thing to note here is that they are not planets. Asteroids are prominent members of the planetoid family.

Lets dig into the planetoid factor a bit. From a size standpoint (1200km), LV 426 is in the same league as Charon, Pluto’s natural satellite and roughly 35% the size of our moon. It is also a well known fact that such a larger object would be spherical, given sufficient gravitational force. This checks out as we also learned in Alien that the gravity on LV 426 was 0.86 times that of gravity on earth. In addition, Dallas asks Lambert to determine if LV 426 has any rotation. She says it is 2 hours. It is somewhat relative to the rotational period of some asteroids in the Asteroid belt of our Solar System. Things get juicier when we look at LV 426 from the asteroid belt perspective. We all know that the asteroid belt is located between Mars and Jupiter in our solar system. The belt formed from basic elements of planets called, planetesimals that later clumped into protoplanets (which, given ideal conditions, would have formed planets). But, the gravitational pull of Jupiter was so immense that it superseded the ability of these protoplanets to assemble together to form a planet. Technically, the pull imparted these protoplanets with a lot of orbital energy.

So, my theory is that the spherical planetoid LV 426 formed from protoplanets ripped apart by the strong gravitational pull of the ringed gas giant and shares a few characteristics with some illustrious members of our asteroid family.

Coming back to my LV 426 is not a moon argument, well, we saw that its rotation period is 2 hours. Since, in majority of the cases, synchronicity is expected for planetary moons (rotational period is equivalent to orbital period due to tidal locking with the planet – moon showing the same face to an observer on the planet), 2 hours seems like a tremendous stretch.

The star system observed in Prometheus and Alien reflect reality to a certain extent due to the fact that we have identified a large number of extra solar Jovian type solitary planetary systems orbiting sun like stars over the years. It is theorized that many such planets identified could have rocky moons, which could have less inhospitable environments and LV 223 is such an example. Just yesterday, NASA’s Kepler Space Lab announced that it has discovered a pair of planets orbiting a pair of suns –  sort of like a real life Tatooine!

Anyway, coming back to the star map, I was wondering if it would be possible to pinpoint LV 426 on it? I have indicated my choice on the following picture. Apart from taking a theoretical liberty of assigning the orbits for the moons of the planet, there was this intriguing scene from Prometheus that motivated my choice. When Holloway zoomed in on the 3D interactive map, we could see only five objects and the object that I had noted as LV 426 was marked differently. It looked to me like a rocky object (brown colored) and seemed like it could be related to LV 426 that we saw in Alien. Well, I might be dead wrong!

Location of LV 426? Picture from, edited.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, LV 426 is part of the same star map that the engineers had shown humans and it is a planetoid. But, there are several broad questions that still remain.

1. What’s the deal with asking us to visit an alien moon and not their home planet?

This is probably the most important question that can probably be resolved within the framework of Prometheus’s entire plot.

2. What turn of events led the space jockey leave for LV 426, with the eggs no less? From where did he fly to LV 426?

3. Who activated the so called, “distress signal”?

4. Whatever happened to the creature that burst out of the engineer’s chest?

Questions 2, 3, and 4 can be best explained in the context of Prometheus 2 plot and the notorious black goo, which I will discuss a bit later. But, for the moment, I would like to say something about the Derelict on LV 426. Some people have speculated that it had crashed on LV 426. I was personally not in favor of this idea. Ridley Scott himself has said that it did not crash and it was probably a forced landing. For proof, have a look at this clip, where he talks to Geoff Boucher from LA Times for the Nerdist Channel. He talks about it at 04:53 minute mark.


In my next post, I will analyze the happenings when the crew ventured into the hollow structure and found the engineer and the black goo cargo.

David – From Weyland Industries

It will also include analysis of the attributes of one of the most ambiguous characters in the entire film – David!

Prometheus Origins Incongruity – Resolution

As promised earlier, I would like to talk briefly about the discrepancies in the Origin idea of Prometheus. My hypothesis was that the engineers had seeded life here on earth and did not intervene with already evolving life on the planet. I had opined that the engineer sacrifice happened sometime in the Archean eon (3.9-3.8 billion years ago). But, I had also noted a problem – The engineer being able to breathe without any external aid on primordial earth, when there was no free oxygen in the atmosphere. The reason being that photosynthesis evolved only around 2.5 billion years ago that resulted in an oxygenated atmosphere, but life had long existed.

From a photography standpoint, it is a well known fact that the origin scene was shot at the Dettifoss Waterfall in Iceland. It surely was an absolutely fantastic location for the shot. If you watch the events leading to the waterfall scene, you could observe something. As the camera spans over the landscape of the terrain (from the vantage point of the Engineer’s spacecraft) leading up to the waterfall, you could see a large number of green patches (algae, grass, etc.). Technically, the presence of  greenery would support the engineer experiencing no breathing issue. But it doesn’t go along with the cell division scenario a tad bit later that suggests that life started due to the engineer’s intervention.

Dettifoss Waterfall – Tim Bekaert – From Wikipedia

Due to all this, I would assume that it was simply something that they had overlooked in the shoot. If they hadn’t shown the green, and put some kinda mask on the engineer, it would have been perfect (Can Damien or Ridley shed more light on this?).

The mask thing is not that much of a big deal though. Going by the biology of the engineers (Actually, this is another theme that is fascinating to speculate – more later, of course), I would say that the engineers have some extreme form of Cyanosis. It is a condition that causes bluish coloration of the skin membrane due to low oxygen levels in blood. The fact that the engineers are pale bluish, may I suggest that they come from a planet, perhaps with low levels of oxygen in their atmosphere and that their respiratory system has evolved to take care of this issue? Perhaps, they are adapted to thrive in such conditions and can survive for shorter times in an oxygen free atmosphere? That’s why the engineer shows no discomfort breathing for the limited time that he is on prehistoric earth.

RIP Neil Armstrong

Thought of taking a moment to remember Neil Armstrong. Just read that he passed away today due to complications from cardiovascular surgery. As I look at the poster of him on the moon right next to my desk at home, I am reminded of how big an inspiration he is for me. What he did will always be remembered as one of the defining moments of  our human history. One giant loss for mankind indeed. RIP Sir.

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind! – RIP Sir

Going to light a candle in his memory.

Prometheus Analysis Part III – Origin of Life

Now, I would like to turn my attention to the engineer’s role in the origin of life on planet earth. Before I go any further, I would like to say a few things. My main intention of this exercise is not only to try to find a connection between the events in Prometheus and the plot of Alien, but, also analyze my hypothesis under the context of what we know scientifically today. For instance, genetics is a well developed science and the question of origin of life has been tackled for a very very long time by a large number of scientists. Although, there is no solitary, definitive theory at the time of this writing, there are a few that appear to be highly plausible. I hope you folks get my drift. Analyzing the movie with the help of scientific facts, whenever possible would be a recurring theme of my hypothesis. More exhaustive details of the scientific aspects below can be obtained from Wikipedia, if anyone is interested.

Sacrificial Engineer – From Prometheus Movie Website

OK, let’s move on to the scene where the engineer consumed the black goo and ended up being a catalyst for the origin of life (I have to admit, I loved it that they decided to call these beings, Engineers. I don’t think its necessary to talk about the difference between engineering and creation). This black substance is probably the most mysterious thing in the whole film. It is the thing that holds the whole movie together, plotwise. Hence, it’s notoriety needs to be analyzed exclusively in a separate post later. So, for the time being, let us look into the aftermath of its consumption. It resulted in rapid disintegration, even down at the molecular level. The biological material mixed with water and then we saw emergence of cellular structures.

When you consider the scientific theories regarding origin of life and the above scene together, things get pretty interesting. Assuming that there was no other intervention by the engineers after the onset of that event, then, one can safely concur that environmental parameters made sure that evolution of life progressed in its natural pace, thereby resulting in human development.

Time Frame –  Engineer’s Intervention

As I mentioned earlier, there have been multiple theories put forward to explain the origin of life on earth. What most of these theories agree upon is the fact that there are strict regulations as far as the emergence of  perfect conditions for life is concerned. So, you see, this problem relates all the way back to formation of Earth. With this in mind, let us first try to establish a rough time frame when the engineer sacrificed himself. One thing we can all agree upon is the fact that our planet is nearly 4.6 billion years old. In terms of geological eons, the period roughly between 4.5 billion years and 3.8 billion years is called the Hadean. It was a period, when Earth was extremely violent. A primordial atmosphere would have existed due to volcanic outgassing, but completely devoid of  Oxygen. It was molten due to intense volcanic activity and collision with other bodies. It is also suggested that plate tectonics had existed at around 4 billion years that would support the existence of oceans at that time already. Now, what of life? Given the harsh conditions on the planet, it is theorized that life could not have formed during this eon. Could building blocks for life had existed by then? May be, may be not.

Simplistic Picture – From cotf

The next, most important eon that has relevance to Prometheus is the Archean. It dates roughly between 3.8 billion years and 2.5 billion years. Simply put, by this time, Earth had cooled significantly and the conditions were suitable for the formation of primordial life. Cyanobacteria, commonly called as blue-green algae are supposed to have existed nearly as back as 3.5 billion years ago. The exact time period when photosynthesis capability evolved is something that is still under debate. The problem being, geologic record indicates that this event took place around 2.5 billion years ago. But fossil records of Cyanobacteria indicate that they had existed as back as 3.5 billion years ago. You must be thinking, well what has this discrepancy got to do with Prometheus? Trust me, I am getting there.

Cyanobacteria Binnuma River, Omiya city, Saitama Pref., October 2000, by Y. Tsukii

Revisiting my earlier assumption that the engineers intervened only once, my hypothesis is that they visited our planet roughly during the early Archean time period, say around 3.9 or 3.8 billion years ago. Now getting back to photosynthesis, it creates a problem. In the beginning of the Archean eon, the atmosphere had no free Oxygen. The ability of cyanobacteria to perform oxygenic photosynthesis was the precursor for the replacement of reduced atmosphere to an oxygenated one (It’s much more complex and it involves a delicate relationship with Iron and unoxidized Sulfur, amongst many other things) that resulted in the emergence of complex multicellular life. What bothers me though, is the following. If my assumption about the timing of the engineer’s visit is sort of correct, then how come the engineer has no problems breathing on earth when the atmosphere has absolutely no Oxygen?

If he had visited, say 2.5 billion years ago, it would make little sense. He would then be directly intervening with already evolving life on the planet. But, that’s not what the first scene is suggesting. To me, it looks like the formation of primordial life and the subsequent evolution of multicellular organisms.

But, there are a few shots in the film that seem to suggest the post oxygenated atmosphere timeline, but it is a bit difficult for me to reason with. True, it’s fiction and all, but hey, I can speculate, can’t I? I will add a special post about these discrepancies.

Engineer Driven Evolution of Life

Now, lets tackle the question of formation of life due to the engineer’s sacrifice. From a scientific standpoint, this question has fascinated many brilliant minds, since time immemorial. This broad question can be normally classified under two categories: 1. How did organic molecules come about? 2. How is a protocell formed from these organic molecules?

1. Organic molecule Origin

There are basically two possible sources on early earth, namely, terrestrial origin –  that organic synthesis is driven by an external energy source, like, lightning, UV light etc., and extraterrestrial origin –  meteorites, accumulation of organic molecules due to gravity or by Panspermia (the idea that life came from an extraterrestrial source in the form of bacteria trapped in debris that crashed in earth, for instance, that simply became active when the conditions were ideal for life and resulted in evolution). Within these two frameworks there are many theories that explain the origin of organic molecules. But, I am not gonna go through them. There are theories like Soup theory, Eigen’s hypothesis, Hoffmann’s thesis, Wächterhäuser’s hypothesis, Zn-World theory and many more.

2. Origin of Protocell

Again, there are multiple theories that have tried to explain this transformation. Deep sea vent theory, RNA World Hypothesis (gene first), Metabolism first theories are the main ones. There are others like, Autocatalysis, Clay hypothesis, Deep-hot Biosphere model, Primitive extraterrestrial life model, Lipid world models etc.

Early Protocell Visualization – From Science Mag

Based on the developments in Prometheus, I was faced with a couple of questions – 1. What models are best suited to further my hypothesis? 2. At which level did the intervention happen? Did the defining event happen before the synthesis of organic molecule or did it occur before the protocell synthesis? If I was interested in preserving my blueprint, I would like to have complete control over the process, hence, I would start at the very beginning. Therefore, my hypothesis is that the engineer intervention actually gave rise to organic molecules on Earth. Exogenesis, another theory that accounts for the extraterrestrial origin of organic molecules, but does not explicitly state how (Main difference with Panspermia), is the best theory then to explain the events of Prometheus. Now, what we have under this condition is not just organic molecules, but also the genetic history of the engineers in one form or another. Now, what of the second step – the formation of protocell? Let us analyze.

RNA Molecule – Wired Mag

This step is extremely important in my opinion. This is exactly where the intervention of the engineer gets amplified and the genetic code is conserved all the way through human development (Shaw finding a match between human and engineer DNA). As outlined earlier, there are many theories that have been proposed to explain this step, but as far as the movie is concerned, I am looking at the RNA world hypothesis. Scientifically, it is currently popular in explaining the formation of protocell. Simply put, the theory states that in prehistoric earth, self-replicating, catalytic RNA formed and served as the precursors for emergence of life. It should be noted that there were no DNA and proteins at that time. Several hypotheses have been proposed for the spontaneous formation of RNA molecules. We all know that RNA can also store information, although not as efficient as DNA does. It also plays a crucial role in enabling DNA’s ability to maintain this genetic information. It was the great Francis Crick, Leslie Orgel and Carl Woese, who first hypothesized that RNA could act as a catalyst. Then, in 1980, Thomas Cech discovered ribozymes, a RNA molecule that can catalyze a chemical reaction. In addition, ribozymes have been produced in labs that can catalyze their own synthesis.

Speaking of Francis Crick, he and Orgel in the 70’s speculated living systems could have been spread here by intelligent life forms using space travel. They called this “Directed Panspermia”. The reasoning then was only proteins were the only known enzymes and ribozymes hadn’t been discovered. The existence of complex replication processes in organisms currently on earth puzzled scientists who couldn’t explain how such complex self-replicating units could have originated in prehistoric life. Crick and Orgel published a retrospective article on January 1993, reflecting on their theories from the early 70’s and how it has been affected by the discovery of the ribozyme. If you are interested, just click on the following link for direct download of the pdf document.

Anticipating an RNA world. Some past speculations on the origin of life: where are they today? – FASEB Journal – Note: PDF Document

William Scott’s Hammerhead Ribozyme

Life today, is DNA-centric as far as information is concerned. It’s simply because the large size of RNA makes it limited for information storage as it is energy intensive to repair any damage and mutation. But, it might have been a different case in prehistoric life. It has also been observed that many critical components of the cell, especially the ones that evolve the slowest, are entirely made up of RNA. Could that mean that the modern RNA is an evolutionary remnant from a prehistoric time? There’s a large body of evidence, with the most recent from August 2011 that really points towards a RNA world hypothesis. Hopefully, more information should emerge in the coming years.

Based on all this, my hypothesis is that the engineer’s organic remnants created an accumulation and creation of more organic molecules (amino acids, for example), followed by formation of self replicating RNA molecules (where the genetic blueprint of the engineers are somehow conserved), which then resulted in emergence of life.

I would like to apologize for rambling about RNA, geological eons and so on. I could have simply written that the engineers paved the way for the evolution of life on planet earth. But, I just thought it was fun doing it the way I did. If, at least one visitor found the information interesting and took a shining to learn more about things like RNA world hypothesis, then I have done my job.

Anyway, for the bored readers, let me put forward my hypothesis in a few sentences. Engineers arrived on Planet Earth around 3.9-3.8 billion years ago. The disintegrated engineer was the source for organic molecules on the planet (exogenesis). Protocell formed from self-replicating RNA molecules bearing the genetic footprint of the engineer. Evolution proceeded in its natural pace leading to human development.

Finally, going by the above theories, would it make sense to say that the black goo is some type of a rapid reverse-evolution catalyst? It is capable of causing absolute breakdown to biological precursors that would be capable of re-evolving under favorable conditions anywhere in any planetary system, but at the same time somehow preserving the genetic history. This genetic template can be manipulated at any instant of time by the original inventors of the black goo to re-engineer a complete race, say for example, when threatened by extinction or fertility issues? Just some rambling thoughts. I will have a detailed post on the black goo discussing in detail all of these elements.

Prometheus Analysis – The Beginning

Engineer pointing towards a Star System

Let me continue where I left off. In the first scene of the film, a spaceship departs a planet, leaving behind a sole engineer next to some kind of a waterfall. The engineer consumes a black substance that acts quite powerfully and results in his rapid disintegration. He then falls into the waterfall and eventually, the broken down molecules that make up the biology of the engineer (Emphasis on DNA is obvious in the film) trigger a biogenetic reaction. Fast forward to a few billion years later, Shaw and Holloway find archaeological evidence cutting across different civilizations and vastly different time periods suggesting that giant beings visited humans and that they seem to be pointing to a star map. They interpret it as an invitation for us to find them.

There are a couple of things I would like to address about these scenes. First, the idea that life originated on Earth due to a direct extraterrestrial intervention (Based on later developments in the film, it would be safe to assume that the first scene is from a prehistoric earth). The second thing is that the planet has been visited by these extraterrestrial Gods during human development.

The first idea is fairly complex, so I will tackle it in my next post. Let’s look into the second point, extraterrestrial visitation. There are several descriptions of visitations by strange crafts and beings in various cultures. Of course, a lot of people would say that the work of  authors like Erich von Däniken and Zecharia Sitchin had influenced the writers of Prometheus (When Prometheus reaches LV 223 airspace, the crew just find a rocky, uninhabited land, but, suddenly, Holloway spots something in a valley and tells Janek to land there. He comments, “God does not build in straight lines”. The structure that the crew explore later is not the only one in that valley. If my visual memory is right, prior to the landing of Prometheus I could see at least four such structures, may be equidistant from one another and all laid out in a straight line. I am sure that this is what he meant. Another visual that interested me is that there are straight line markings on the surface of the valley. Later, we saw a powerful storm that partly jeopardized the mission. If such a storm is common on the moon, and assuming that the straight line marks on the surface are temporary, then, they should have been destroyed by such a storm. The fact that they are there when Prometheus arrives could possibly mean that they are etched out to attract attention and hence, probably permanent. Däniken theorized that the famous Nazca lines of Peru, especially the straight lines represented some kind of an air strip for extraterrestrial visitors. The longest such straight line in Peru covers nine miles across the plain. Perhaps, this idea inspired the writers. Although there are several theories regarding the purpose of Nazca lines, a recent theory suggests that they represent a giant map of underground water resources traced on land. For more, just head to the wiki page). These two people enjoyed their spotlight in the media as the proponents of ancient astronauts theory and reached legendary status in late night paranormal radio shows. Däniken was particularly popular, with his Chariots of the Gods? selling millions of copies worldwide. Good for both of them.

But the ancient astronaut theory is much older. My first exposure to this concept happened when I was 11 years old. My dad’s former American colleague gave me a book called, The Call of Ctulhu written by H. P. Lovecraft. I finished the book in one sitting and it blew me away. This was probably also the starting point when my visualization capabilities started to improve, for the better or worse. One thing lead to another and now, I can proudly claim that I have read most of H. P. L and he will always be one of my greatest idols. Although I have read many books from Sitchin and Däniken, I am not a fan but I did admire their imagination. And as far as Däniken’s claim that he is the father of Ancient Astronaut theory is concerned – Please! His books should be considered as belonging to the speculative fiction category, nothing more, nothing less.

At this juncture, I would like to take a small sidestep, since it is connected to the general theme of this blog as I had intended when I started it. It should be evident to the long time visitors of this blog that I have an interest in the paranormal, especially, the UFO phenomenon. But, I don’t subscribe to the popular explanation regarding their origins, namely, the Extraterrestrial hypothesis. I am a religious follower of Jacques Vallee’s work and naturally subscribe to his Control System, Unexplored aspect of consciousness approach. Extra dimensional origin theory seems to be another viable option. The reason why I am mentioning this is because Vallee has spent a considerable amount of time researching folklore and history and reports of human contact with otherworldly  beings (fairies, demons, angels etc.) over the ages. Most of these extraordinary reports always involve some kind of technology that is beyond human comprehension and can be compared to the modern day UFO phenomenon. Remember Arthur C. Clarke’s  third law – Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Anyway, Vallee concludes that the phenomenon has been with us since ancient times and seems to influence our belief system. He has written exhaustively about the trickster nature of this anomaly. For more fascinating details, I suggest you folks read the book, Passport to Magonia by Vallee. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Vallee and Chris Aubeck came out with another book in 2010 called, Wonders in the Sky – Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times and Their Impact on Human Culture, History and Beliefs. This book includes chronology of reports dating back to around 1460 BC. If you wanna expand your horizons further, you should read all of Valle’s books.

The idea that ancient civilizations have been visited by intelligent God-like beings has been well implemented in the film. But it’s the message that they convey to the humans that is mysterious.

Now that we have talked about ET visitation aspect of the film, let us analyze the concept that life originated on earth based on the engineers’ intervention in the next post.

Prometheus Analysis – Part I: The Title

You see, neurons are atrocious little beasts that can amplify even the smallest of effects and in the process, stimulate your thought progression. Such a stimulation happened when I watched Prometheus. The first time I watched the film, I paid attention to the main plot, the obvious links with Alien (proto-alien, facehuggers, space jockey etc.) and simply soak in all the stunning visuals. I watched it again, but this time, my focus was on symbolism’s,  hidden meanings and subliminal messages/images in the film. After pouring over my notes the next few days, I decided I should post my thoughts.

As I had mentioned earlier, the following is just my interpretation. Of course, it could turn out to be completely against the analysis of other hardcore fans or the views of the film makers. But, I love doing it. The last time I did something like this was when The Matrix Reloaded came out. I wrote a lengthy article on that film talking about various symbolism’s in the film and what they meant. In addition, I theorized as to how Revolutions would end. I actually went for the Zion is a second level simulation scenario. But it was easy to theorize that Neo had to sacrifice himself to destroy Agent Smith. Even tried an amateurish crack at connecting Quantum Mechanics with Agent Smith’s duplication and so on. Anyway, we all know how the film turned out. I was dead wrong in my analysis, except for the death of Neo part. I tried my level best reaching out to various weekly journals to get it published and all I got was, thanks, but no thanks. Regardless, it was fun. So, my point is, I do this time to time and I sincerely hope that my interpretation does not offend anyone.

Prometheus – From Wikipedia

OK, lets move on. First, whats up with Prometheus as the title? It makes perfect sense. Prometheus, in Greek mythology is a Titan and is credited with the creation of man from clay. He is also responsible for stealing fire from the Gods and giving it to humans. We all know what role fire played in the creation of civilizations and advancement of mankind. For this theft, he incurred the wrath of the Gods who punished him by tying him to a rock and making an eagle feed on his liver every day. Liver, as you know has a regenerative capability. On a side note, I worked previously in trying to reconstruct the complex gene-regulatory machinery that was responsible for controlling the detoxification of drugs in the human liver. One of my best friends and colleagues, who worked in the same project called his work-station, Prometheus. Sorry, I had to give a shout out to my bud (Hi Joe!).

Creation of Man from Clay – Wikipedia

As Wikipedia states, Prometheus was interpreted in the western classical tradition as someone who was symbolic for the quest of scientific truths, but sometimes at the cost of reaching tragic results ( Over the years, we have seen such tragedies happen in our quest to unlock the secrets of the universe, be it, space travel or trying to harness the power of the atom, to quote a few examples). He is known for his intelligence and most certainly is a champion of mankind.

But what interests me the most is that in addition to the description above, he is considered to be one of those so called trickster figures. This is something that I spent sometime looking into. I will talk about it in detail a little later in the analysis.

Prometheus Spaceship

Based on all this, Prometheus is a perfect name for the film and the spaceship. The anthropologists’ quest to know the truth about human existence captures the very essence of Prometheus. But, as we saw in the film, their efforts in uncovering the truth resulted in death, destruction and the creation of a horrific new life-form that contributes either directly or indirectly to the xenomorphs that wreak havoc in the future (Alien, Aliens, etc., although they gave us Ripley!).

Prometheus Analysis – Revisiting the Plot

Let us revisit the plot of the film as a starting point before going into its finer details.

The titular spaceship Prometheus

A spaceship leaves a giant being behind on a planet, who then consumes a black substance, upon which he disintegrates and the biological material mixes with water and starts a biogenetic reaction. In 2089, a couple of anthropologists find a few cave diagrams belonging to different civilizations and times on earth that are completely disconnected from each other. There could have been no way that they could have contacted each other. The oldest such cave diagram is from 35,000 years ago in Scotland. But there is a common theme in all the diagrams – that of a giant being pointing towards a star system in the sky. They appear on all the diagrams and the orientation of the star system is always the same. The anthropologists conclude that it is some type of invitation from the giant beings and that they had a role in human evolution on our planet. They call these giant beings, Engineers. This information excites Peter Weyland, the chief of Weyland Industries. He puts together a team of researchers and finances a mission to study the anthropologists’ viewpoint. They seem to have located a star system that corresponds to the exact configuration in the archaelogical finds. The system corresponds to a ringed giant gas planet that is revolving around a star. The planet has three moons and in the diagrams, the Engineer seems to be pointing towards one of the moons, LV223.

Weyland’s spaceship, Prometheus reaches this moon and they start exploring a hollow structure. Underground, they find a host of crazy things. They find a decapitated Engineer’s body and a room full of stone vases with some type of black tar like substance, which starts to react upon atmospheric change brought on by the presence of the explorers in the facility. Except for two explorers, the rest of the crew are ordered back to the ship due to an incoming storm. They retreat with the decapitated head of the engineer. The android, David, unbeknownst to everyone, brings back one of the vases back to the ship. He taints the drink of one of the anthropologists, Charlie, with the black substance. Charlie, infected by the black goo ends up having sex with Elisabeth, the other anthropologist, thereby affecting her. Elisabeth had previously found a match between the engineer’s DNA and human DNA, confirming her theory that engineers engineered us. In the meantime, the leaking black liquid mutates worm like creatures in the underground facility. One of the mutated organisms kills a lost explorer and its acid blood fries the other’s helmet and upon direct contact with the black substance, causes a mutation.

Space Jockey

The second exploration, the following day is interrupted by Charlie becoming sick. He starts mutating and the boss of Prometheus forbids him from entering the ship and as per his request, she kills him. David, on the other hand, has found a part of the facility where he finds one Engineer, alive on stasis. Upon returning to Prometheus, Elisabeth is told that she is pregnant with an alien creature. She performs an operation using the automated surgery pod and removes the creature. She later comes to know the Peter Weyland is also on the ship and he intends to meet the engineer who is alive to find a way to extend his lifetime.

Sacrificial Engineer

They make their way back to the ship and David leads them to the engineer. They discover that cargo is full of vases with the black substance they had discovered earlier. David tells Elisabeth that the ship was intended to leave for earth. He wakes up the engineer, who gets super pissed, decapitates David, kills Weyland and the others, except Elisabeth. She manages to escape. He restarts the ship and starts his journey to earth. Elisabeth, with the knowledge of what the engineer intends to do with the cargo in earth, begs the captain of Prometheus to stop the ship from leaving under any cost. The captain and his officers crash Prometheus with the engineer’s ship bringing it down and killing themselves in the process.

Facehugger subdues the Engineer

Elisabeth goes to the ejected personal pod of the chief of Prometheus, Vickers, which also hosts the automated surgery facility that she used to perform her operation and discovers that the alien creature that she removed from her womb has grown to a gigantic size. David warns her that the engineer was not dead and he was coming for her. After a brief struggle with the engineer, she unleashes the giant squid like thing (facehugger) on the engineer. The facehugger subdues him. David then informs Elisabeth that there are other ships in the planet and he knows how to fly them. She picks up the head of David and his torso and tells him that she wants to go to the engineers’ planet to learn why they wanted to destroy humans. Finally, we see a spaceship leaving the moon. In the mean time, a substantially large, proto-xenomorph (Deacon) bursts out of the engineer’s body.

In the next post, I will be looking at every aspect of the film in detail.

Prometheus – Part I

Charlie, Elisabeth and David

First, I would like to talk a bit about the film Prometheus. The film is more than three months old, I know. But the film premiered here in Germany only a few weeks back and I watched the English version just a couple of weeks back. I am sure there are multiple websites dedicated completely towards unlocking the secrets of the film. But, I decided not to visit any of those websites until I had seen the movie myself and have tried to understand its meaning.

My Dopamine levels shot through the roof causing a tremendous excitement in anticipation of this film and The Dark Knight Rises. As every SciFi fan would attest, Alien is one of my favorite movies of all time. The first time I saw the film, I was shaken to the core. It took me a couple of days to recover from the shock. On top of that, I have this problem that I am good at visualizing. I would take elements from what I have heard or seen and would wrap a fantasy around them and let it evolve. The accompanying visuals, although fantastic, would leave me shit scared at times. It reached impeccable levels after watching Alien.

One of the greatest badasses in movie history – Ellen Fuckin Ripley

Although Prometheus is a kind of prequel to Alien, I think the film can be considered in its entirety as a stand alone film. Ridley Scott even mentioned that his idea was not to make a direct prequel, but to take the questions that everyone had about Alien and try to wrap a story around them, but make it unique. I believe he has succeeded in that exercise. Nevertheless, for the die-hard fan, it would make sense to try to connect the elements in Prometheus with Alien. But, as it turns out, it is not that straightforward. Prometheus has given rise to more questions than answers. Like every fanatic, I am trying to find the connection between the films. From just a superficial standpoint, it is evident that there are aspects in Prometheus that can be connected to Alien. But, as they say, the devil is in the details. This is exactly what I would like to address in the next couple of posts. My analysis is based on my own interpretation of the movie and guesses and hunches as to how I perceive the saga going forward for a more direct connection to the Alien series.

More in the next post———-

Challenger Disaster – New Super 8 Footage

In an effort to satisfy my guilty pleasure, I was at huffingtonpost a few moments ago and I found this article and video. The video is exclusively licensed to huffingtonpost.

Jeffrey Ault, from Orange City, Florida was visiting Kennedy Space Center, round about the time when Challenger was to be launched. He recorded this footage using his Super 8 camera and your could see clearly the chain of events starting from the launch to the explosion of the shuttle. There are some chilling stuff heard during the video, like a woman screaming right when the shuttle explodes and Steve Nesbitt telling about the obvious major malfunction.

Click on the image to get to huffingtonpost for the video and the article.

Challenger Amateur Video - huffingtonpost

Challenger Amateur Video - huffingtonpost

One of the saddest events in human history.